The United Kingdom’s Department of Food, Environment, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has released its Sixth Quarterly Report concerning the response to its Voluntary Reporting Scheme for Manufactured Nanomaterials (VRS), and the news is not good.
The UK reports that no new submissions have been received by DEFRA since the last quarterly report in December 2007. Consequently, the count for total submissions remains at nine; seven from industry and two from academia. DEFRA is still seeking submissions under the VRS, but is recommending that the "objectives and data requirements for the scheme be more clearly articulated." The stalling in the submission, albeit it light before, is not a good sign going forward for the program.
Additionally, and as we’ve previously discussed here, there is concern that the lackluster response associated with the VRS is a harbinger of what is to come under US EPA’s NMSP. And while the concern is legitimate, I still think its too soon to paint them all with the same brush. Sitting here today, EPA has received three submissions under the Basic Program, with a commitment from ten other companies to submit. All of this in just the last 4 months. As they say in the investment world, past performance is no indication of future returns. We’ll have to continue being patient and let the system runs its course for the moment.